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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 86 - 10/10/03

Fort Lauderdale
The Chilling Place EP
Memphis Industries

Another moonth and the releases from Memphis Industries keep rolling in. Fort Lauderdale is usually connected with a seaside town in sunny Florida. Here we're talking about a duo, namely Toby Jenkins and Steve Webster in rainy London. This is their second single from the second album Pretty Monster, to be released later this moonth. The three songs on the disc wanders off in quite different directions. The title track in particular gives an impression of eccentricity. (If you're rich, you may be eccentric and get away with it. If you're poor and behave likewise, you're a lunatic and ought to find resort at the nearest Luna Kafé!) The song includes nightclub piano, drunken horns (so they say themselves; check the Memphis Industries homepage), 80s synths and rhythm box and a raw guitar solo. At times minimalistic, other parts are nearly over-produced. A more organic and low-budget version of Swiss 80s heroes Yello, perhaps, though not quite that eccentric. When the synths reach climax, the song is on the verge of bursting into: 'This means nothing to me, oh Vienna!', the Ultravox song, you know, and gives me the creeps. (Did I tell you I once witnessed Midge Ure at the folk evening of a Helsinki music festival? He finished his set with a version of "Vienna" arranged for acoustic guitar, dobro and voice. Still gives me nightmares.) Kitsch, minimalism, splendour, heaven, hell and a twinkle in the eye, all in one song!

"She's In Bloom" is closer to earth. A short Lou Reed light song sung by a young Ray Davies, though the 80s beat-box and sound is still there. Not bad! "Incantation" takes us closer to the 70s: vocoder vocals a la Kraftwerk, disco synths, barbed wire guitar and an eastern flavour in between. Quite entertaining! I don't really know what Fort Lauderdale is aiming at, but the songs leave me somewhat curious for more. And - The Chilling Place is currently the best selling record on Mars...

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